The scheduled three-match ODI cricket series in Karachi between Pakistan and West Indies was on Thursday postponed to June 2022 in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. (More Cricket News)
The visiting Windies cricket was hit hard by COVID-19. On the day of arrival in Pakistan, three players and a support staff member had tested positive. And on Thursday morning, hours before the start of the third and final T20 International match, Cricket West Indies (CWI) revealed more positive cases.
But the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) managed to convince the visitors to play the match. Then during the innings break, the two boards issued a joint statement confirming that COVID-19 positive cases have risen up to nine, and the following ODIs will not be played as scheduled.
"Taking into consideration both the teams' welfare as well as limited resources in the West Indies side for the ODIs, it has been agreed that the series, which forms part of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League, will be postponed and rescheduled for early June 2022," PCB-CWI said in the joint statement. "This will provide the West Indies with an equal opportunity to field their best available players for the World Cup qualification matches."
The West Indies players who returned with negative tests will depart late on Thursday after the completion of the third T20 International.
"The West Indies team members, who returned negative results following Wednesday's PCR and today's Rapid Antigen tests, will depart from Pakistan after tonight's match.
"Those who have tested positive will complete their isolation in Karachi before their travel arrangements are finalized to allow them to rejoin their families in time for Christmas celebrations,' the joint statement said.
"Meanwhile, the Pakistan team members, all of whom have returned PCR negative after Wednesday's tests, will also be leaving the Managed Event Environment after tonight's third T20I."
The 21 Tests that were conducted on Thursday morning before the atch turned out to be negative after which permission to go ahead with the game was given.
"On Thursday morning and as part of the PCB COVID-19 Protocols, Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) were conducted on the remaining 15 West Indies players and six player support personnel.
"All 21 members of the West Indies touring party returned negative test results. As such, Thursday’s T20 International (T20I) proceeded as planned.
Before this series the PCB was also forced to postpone its Pakistan Super League earlier this year in Karachi due to Covid-19 positive cases among players and officials of franchises and board.
Earlier Covid-19 positive cases have also led to the postponement of the final test between India and England this summer in England while earlier also England had returned from South Africa due to Covid-19 cases.
(With PTI inputs)